This post is the second of two parts. To read Part 1, please click here.
National Initiatives Successful
On a national level, individual franchisees are encouraged to participate in corporate initiatives. For example, as a company, Menchie’s last year supported the Muscular Dystrophy Association, raising more than $200,000 for the cause.
“They also have a lot of templates to tailor programs to your local market,” Ryan said. “A central strategy is to become embedded in the community and become a part of the community.”
One of the most successful promotions so far has been the observance of National Frozen Yogurt Day on Feb. 6. Ryan’s store gave away free 6 oz. cups of frozen yogurt to customers who brought in a coupon that was available when they went to the Menchie’s Facebook page.
“In the middle of winter, it was geared toward getting frozen yogurt back on the radar screen,” Ryan said. “It was the largest number of guests that we’ve had since we opened.”
Ryan estimates that his initial investment for his first Menchie’s store was $450,000 and $350,000 for his second, due to build-out savings as a multi-unit owner/operator and because the second store was about 1,000 square feet smaller than his first. He has about 15 employees for his first store working two people per shift in the winter and as many as five per shift during the summer.
Through his construction business, Ryan said he is seeing an improvement in the economy that caused him to lay off people four years ago. He said there are 12 frozen yogurt stores in his market, including the franchise competitor YoFresh Yogurt Cafe and a number of independent stores.
“I think the economy overall is showing some signs of improvement,” he said.
And while the frozen yogurt sector is still booming in his area, he can foresee a day when the weaker brands will fall away from the market. He is confident, however, that Menchie’s will remain on top.
“That’s the reason why we went with Menchie’s: We believe Menchie’s would sustain and remain a category leader.”